Cricket. Radio.

Cricket, emotion and rain in the darkest hours. And some thoughts on the nature of cricket commentary.

Moments and Friendships

A sunburnt Old Dog just kicks back every now and then and thinks about what’s been going on and who he’s bumped in to and what’s coming up. Another footy season approaches and the oval hardness may be too much for one sprinkler. [I love a good Zurbo refelction – Ed]

A skill that can’t be measured

Stan Alves turns it around and asks Matt Zurbo a question. A good one too. [Old Dog with some of his trademark footy-thinking]

Ingrained Madness

A smaller piece from the Old Dog

So This is Christmas: Old Dog’s Top 10 of 2014

Good will: for the beer of it. That, and other terrific lines from one of the Knackery’s Henry Lawsons. A travelling minstrel. Observing. And sensing what matters. Thanks Old Dog.

Simon Black and the things that count

In writing his book, Old Dog spends some time with Simon Black. The conversation reminds him of an old footy story.

The Melbourne Cup

Matt Zurbo reflects on the traditions of racing, from about as far away from the glamour of Flemington as you can get.

Simplifying Football

Ben Rutten has inspired this piece because Old Dog loves backmen. He loves watching backmen. He hates how they’re ignored when votes are awarded. He doesn’t like how stats rule – and he points out a ripper stat about the Swans premiership back line

No Skills Required

Old Dog recalls a footy-less warm-up. [Ray Wilson and his Uni Blacks are onto something – Ed]


A sad Matt Zurbo spent time getting to know Robbie Flower. Here he offers some observations of a much-loved man.

AFL Grand Final – Sydney v Hawthorn: Spangher Magic

Throw away the Hun and the Sage. Use them to line the cocky cage. The Old Dog tells you everything you need to know about the Grand Final.

Buddy v Royce

This is an intriguing experiment. Old Dog, thinking creatively, again.


Matt Zurbo on the significance of ruckmen and their influence on games. [Top stuff – Ed]

As featured the the Age sports section today.

Shark attack: a tale

Out-of-form gun recruit Joey Loveless had a problem. A big problem. A big problem that wouldn’t go away. Matt Zurbo tells the tale.

AFL Round 18 – Hawthorn v Sydney: The Slap

Old Dog watches one of the best AFL games he’s seen in years – taking in the skill in the face of pressure and the fact that it was the frenzied chaos we value so much.

AFL Round 18 – Carlton v North Melbourne: The Roos Blues and no thanks to youse

The Roos Blues and No Thanks to Youse! To be honest, I haven’t watched too much of the Big League over the last ten years. I play and breathe bush footy, not AFL. The marketing boys have done well to brand us all with their label. I take in enough games, or bits of games, [Read more]

AFL Round 17 – Adelaide v Hawthorn: A High Seas Backman

Old Dog is on the high seas, crossing Bass Strait, with the footy on. Terrific account of the game and comment on how we see the game, and how commentators see the game, and how votes are handed out. [Nice Jim Jess reference too – Ed]

Poetry: Ride Them Like Jockeys

Old Dog detects from the collective response in the airport lounge that the people have a better sense of the spirit of the game than those who run it.

Adelaide is Lying

Old Dog finds meaning in Adelaide.

Can you help Old Dog finish his book?

Matt Zurbo could do with some help transcribing some of the interviews he has done with old players. Here he explains what he has been doing and how you might assist if you have a spare few hours.